By Max Schramm: Dmitry Bivol expects to win on May 7th when he defends his WBA light heavyweight belt against challenger Canelo Alvarez on May 7th on DAZN PPV.
As far as Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs), the 175-lb division is his weight class, and Canelo is coming to his territory, so he must defeat him to protect his belt.
While Canelo’s fans view Bivol as an easy slam dunk victory, it’s apparent that the Mexican star doesn’t hold the same view.
He seems worried about the fight with the bigger, more agile, and mobile Bivol, and it’s understandable why.
Unlike his many fans, Canelo has researched the Russian Bivol, and he knows that this could be the best opponent of his career.
Bivol wants to show his skills
“I feel myself like it’s my division; it’s my belt. I’m here, the champion; I should win. I think only like that,” said Dmitry Bivol to Matchroom Boxing. “He [Canelo] comes to my division, and I have to beat him,” said Bivol.
Canelo’s decision to target Bivol signals that he believes he can beat him, but he could be very wrong. What’s missing from Canelo is a step-up opponent to prepare him for a fighter like Bivol.
Canelo has been facing a lot of European fighters lately from England, who are nowhere near the level of Bivol in the talent department.
If Canelo took the fight with Bivol immediately after his rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin in 2018, he’d have a better chance of winning.
“Every fighter is different,” Bivol continued. “Maybe he met before speed like I have, power like I have, movement as I have, but I’m pretty sure he never met this combination as I have.
“I think it makes it hard for him,” Bivol said of Canelo. “I’m just different. If you want to succeed, it doesn’t matter in boxing or everywhere; you have to believe in your skills.
“If you believe in your skills, you’re confident in your mind and with your body. Now, I have a chance to show my skills to many, many boxing fans. This is what I wanted when I came to professional boxing.
“This opportunity to show my skills, to prove to people that I’m a good boxer, ‘look at me.’ I only believe in my victory. If you want to get success, you have to believe,” Bivol said.
It’s a massive opportunity for Bivol to showcase his talent against Canelo on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. If Bivol can beat Canelo in the way he did Jean Pascal, Joe Smith Jr, and Sullivan Barrera, he will create a lot of new fans.
Canelo is a new challenge
“Of course, it’s a great fight for me,” Bivol continued. “We thought about this fight against Canelo a couple of years ago, and we had some negotiation about this fight, and when I heard the deal is done, I was just ready.
“You know, every opponent is tough. It’s a new challenge for me. Canelo is confident with his experience and power, but I’m a good boxer too. Yeah, he’s good, but I don’t have to think about it all the time.
“I have to think about my training. I don’t bet on my size; I don’t bet on my power and speed. Boxing is not just hard punches. How you do it by your power and your speed, it doesn’t matter,” said Bivol.
The 31-year-old Bivol has faced many tough opponents during his career, and he’s dominated. What Canelo brings to the table isn’t new to Bivol, considering he’s faced a number of big punchers that could arguably hit as hard if not harder than the Mexican star.
Bivol’s top opposition:
- Sullivan Barrera
- Jean Pascal
- Craig Richards
- Joe Smith Jr
- Felix Vera
- Isaac Chilemba
- Cedric Agnew
“I just throw more punches on his head and his body. Of course, I will try to make him hurt as much as I can if I see the opportunity to do it,” Bivol said of Canelo.
“I’m in Indio the second time, but most of my time is in Los Angeles. This is Joel Diaz’s gym. I like it because it’s big with a lot of heavy bags. First of all, it’s good emotions here. I respect Joel and Tony. To work in their gym, it’s good.
“You feel you are in the right place. I’m here with my coach, Gennadiy. He’s been my coach since I came to pro. He was with me as an amateur. Now when you see guys like this [Israil Madrimov] close to you, it gives you more confidence in the right place.
“I don’t think about my position in the light heavyweight now, which I’m first, or I’m second. It doesn’t matter. I have a belt, and I must defend my belt against another opponent from another weight class.
“This is what I’m thinking now. If I’m thinking about what my ranking now or what my place is in the light heavyweight division, no. I’m not a boxing fan; I’m just a boxer. I just do my job,” said Bivol.
Canelo is coming to try and take Bivol’s property in going after his WBA 175-lb title. If Bivol can turn back this threat by beating Canelo, he can earn a potential rematch.
Canelo isn’t going to walk away from a loss to Bivol without attempting to avenge his loss with a rematch.
The only way Canelo would choose not to attempt to avenge his loss is if he gets blown out of the water by Bivol in a fight that shows that he’s out of his class.
In a one-sided loss, Canelo could come up with an excuse for not taking the rematch with Bivol.
It would make sense for Canelo not to fight Bivol again if he’s destroyed by him, because there’s a chance that he overreached by taking this fight.
Canelo would be in a stronger positition to beat Bivol if he’d fought two or three excellent super middleweights in the last four years, but he hasn’t done that.
Instead of fighting the creme de la creme at 168, Canelo fought these fighters:
- Caleb Plant
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Rocky Fielding
- Avni Yildirim
- Callum Smith